Christmas can be a stressful time of year. With this in mind, I have some top tips on how to survive Christmas.
For those who have a network, you get to spend a lot of time with a lot of people, some of whom you only really see once a year, so it can feel a bit forced, and emotions can flare up.
And for those who are on their own, or people who are feeling the lack or loss of something in their lives, Christmas can bring up a lot of sadness.
Here are some top tips for handling the Christmas and holiday season.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Knowing this for me is my key top tip.
So many of us are wandering around not knowing why we are so exhausted.
Could it be that you are an introvert?
Most people are a combination of introvert and extrovert, with a bias one way or the other.
I am definitely more biased towards being an introvert. While I do enjoy seeing and catching up with people, I know that I definitely have quite a limit and need my alone time.
I’m not used to sharing my space with people all the time, and when I am with people 24/7, there comes a time when I am done.
Once you know this and understand this, then it can explain a lot. It’s nothing personal against the people you know… , it’s just the type of person that you are!
How do you know if you are an introvert?
Think about what you like to do most.
Does being around groups of people often make you feel drained?
Do you enjoy doing things on your own?
Do you prefer to meet with a small group rather than a big party?
If you have said yes to all 3 of these, then the chances are that maybe you are an introvert.
On the other hand, if you like to be in the go a lot of the time, you really enjoy being with other people and find that that gives you energy, and makes you feel better, then the chances are that you are an extrovert.
What to do if you are an introvert?
You need to build in plenty of time on your own.
It could be a 15 minute walk on your own, locking yourself in the loo or going to your bedroom and closing the door.
Pace yourself and give yourself plenty of time to recharge.
Even if you are an introvert, being with an extrovert can help you if you are feeling loss particularly at this time of year.
If you are an extrovert, Christmas is perfect for you so party on! But do take some time to thing about someone you know who may be an introvert and give them the opportunity to have some space.
Take Control: Have A Plan In Place:
Christmas isn’t picture perfect for everyone, despite what it looks like on Facebook.
We are surrounded with all of these images of people having the perfect Christmas, everything looks perfect, perfect relationship, perfect house….. you get the picture.
Reality is a lot more messy than that (well my reality anyway).
People may for whatever reason not have a family unit around them, or may choose not to be with a family unit.
Or they may have a difficult situation going on.
Or have lost a loved one, or are sad that they don’t have a loved one.
Christmas can really amplify all of these feelings of loss.
Rather than sticking your fingers in your ears and singing la la la…. and pretend that it is not going to happen (although sometimes burying your head in the sand can work for a short time – see below), try to have something in place to get you through it.
What I found was that if I was having a difficult time around Christmas, it was really useful to have some sort of plan in place.
I remember, when I was of childbearing years, being so sad on Christmas day because we didn’t have children.
So, on Christmas day, I always made sure that I was busy, surrounded by lots of people and children (that was the day when I needed all of the extroverts!, bring ‘em on!), to help me to get me through the day.
It doesn’t make the loss go away, but it got me over the hump of Christmas day.
So, if Christmas day or the time around Christmas is difficult for you, take control and plan something that is going to make you feel better.
This could mean seeing someone or not seeing someone; saying no to someone else or planning to do something completely different for yourself for part or all of the day.
The point is not to try to struggle on and hope that everything is going to be ok. Make a plan for yourself and even if you don’t use it, you have it there as a back up.
If you’re a giver, try to have some balance:
Are you the person who always takes up all of the slack?
Steps in when someone or something is needed?
Always looking after other people needs?
All very noble indeed.
But if you are naturally inclined to give a lot to people in terms of time, support, material things etc, make sure that you don’t go into overdrive during the holiday period.
And you may be fine with all of this giving for a while but you do run the risk of completely burning yourself out.
Every so often, it is useful to take a step back and ask yourself does this giving still feel good or do I need to tone it down a bit?
Remember, if you do have people that you are looking after, you won’t be able to do this if you run yourself completely into the ground.
Maureen Gaffney suggests making a list of all the things to do for other people, what others do for you and what you do for yourself.
When you do this, it may highlight where you are out of balance with your giving.
So, if you need help, ask for it. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
And if you are someone who is on the receiving end of all this giving, take some time to see if there is some way that you could give back to the giver.
Say yes to yourself:
We all have traditions and set pieces that we do every year.
That doesn’t mean that that is the way it always has to be.
Maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit.
Just because you decide to do something else, doesn’t mean that the world will fall apart. Yes, they will survive if you’re not there!
Yes, the world will keep turning if you decide not to do turkey, go to Auntie Ethel’s or whatever it is.
Say yes to yourself at least once and do what you really want to do this Christmas!
And my favourite top tip…. yes, it’s got to be duvet day!
I love my duvet day. This is a day spent in jammies, probably having chocolate for breakfast (or maybe plum pudding), padding around doing my own thing.
With a sneaky fire lit first thing, I might watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ on tv at 9 in the morning, spend the day in bed, or read a book.
The important thing is that this is MY day.
Everyone else can go to pot and fend for themselves.
As I’m writing this I’m thinking ‘why do I only have a duvet day around Christmas?!’
I love them, so maybe I should schedule a few more in for 2018!
Whatever you decide to do, have a good break, rest and recharge and get ready for 2018.
New Year Bits & Bobs:
Recently, I saw the Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan being interviewed for the documentary Meetings With Ivor , where the renowned Irish psychiatrist, Ivor Browne talks about his work.
Tiernan talked about a group of nun’s in the town where he lives. They are the Poor Clare order of nuns, and there is an altar of perpetual adoration.
He said that at any hour of the day or night, they pulse love out from the heart to everybody else in the convent, the town, county and to the world.
And that where a town knows that it has nuns, it sort of looks after the whole town. There is someone there working on their behalf.
And in a way, this is what we try to do with the group meditation.
We do a meditation and a clearing for ourselves in the group and then magnify and send this healing out into the greater community and to the planet as a whole.
No one is forced to take it. It is available for those who are seeking healing.
There are 2 types of meditation on offer.
This meditation is designed for people who like to meet and meditate as part of a group, and enjoy the group dynamic (and the meditation is always so much stronger when you meditate with someone else).
One of my regular attendees said that the meditation was like spending a weekend at a spa, she feels so relaxed after it.
We start with a guided meditation, doing a body scan and clearing each of the chakras, and then send healing to wherever it is needed. Finally, we finish with a group healing using Rahanni healing and The Violet Flame.
The online meditation is perfect for people who cannot travel to the in person meditation and for those who prefer to meditate from the comfort of their own home.
Even though you are not physically in the same room as the other meditators, it still has the great power of a group meditation.
AND the online meditation has the added advantage of being taped so you can listen to the meditation as many times as you like.
The attendees ALL listen back to the meditation and find it very effective and just as powerful.
Are you tempted? Like to join us?
Please click on this link to see more details and dates about the January meditations:
EFT Level 1 Training:
Want to better manage your stress?
Overcome your fears?
During 2017, due to demand, I ran three EFT Level 1 trainings throughout the year.
‘ Grainne’s passion for EFT is evident and her warmth and commitment to us her students made the course experience that much richer.’
My next EFT Level 1 training is taking place at the end of February.
Over the two days of the training, you will really learn how to manage your stress better, and be able to work with friends and family.
Even if you are not interested in becoming an EFT tapping practitioner, it is such a great skill to use in your everyday life.
‘ This training has definitely been a life-saver on many levels for me. The way it was delivered meant a lot to me. I have overcome fears, from the releasing on the day and since. I am continuing to practice and use the tools I learned that day to improve my life.’
There is an early bird discount of €50 for people applying by 1st February 2018.
‘ Highly supportive teacher! Very clear communicator and encouraging, putting everyone at ease in the room.’
It’s going to be another great course…. So click on the link to find out more and book your place:
Have a great break over the holidays and will be in touch in the new year.
If you have been affected by any of the issues that have been included in this article (not looking after yourself, lack of confidence, low self esteem, my needs are not important, childhood issues…) and would like to see how tapping/meditation/energy work could help you, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 00353 87 629 7207. We can have a chat to see what might work for you.